Skill 4: Ability to quickly evaluate the effectiveness of the communication method being used (e.g., e-mail, Instant Messaging, chat, phone, etc.) and switch method if necessary.
- For a user who is having difficulty following textual instructions, offer to switch to a more visual form of communication such as chat with the ability to push web pages or screen shots to the patron.
- Offer to telephone a user who might learn better through oral communication.
- Suggest a face to face reference meeting if logistically possible.
- In order to better serve users with a visual or aural learning style, quickly create annotated screen captures, short videos, or other presentations that do not rely solely on written text.
- Be sure all users have the necessary plug-ins and bandwidth for high end applications. Use technology that offers the most flexibility for the largest number of users.
American Library Association. Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. ALA Library Fact Sheet 19, last modified August 2006, accessed July 31, 2013, http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet19.
Bailey, Jody. “Informal Screencasting: Results of a Customer-Satisfaction Survey With a Convenience Sample.” New Library World 113, nos. 1/2 (2012): 7-26, accessed July 31, 2013, doi.org/10.1108/03074801211199013.
Breitbach, William, and Adolfo G. Prieto. “Text Reference via Google Voice: A Pilot Study.” Library Review 61, no. 3 (2012): 188-198, accessed July 31, 2013, doi.org/10.1108/00242531211259319.